Friday, June 29, 2012

Caritas Chorale introduces ‘Promises’

Cantata is exploration of history in music


The Wood River Valley's Caritas Chorale and musicians, mostly of the Boise Philharmonic, journeyed to northern Idaho on June 23 to perform "Nez Perce: Promises."

The Cantata was written by Diane Josephy Peavey of Hailey and Carey, in collaboration with Nez Perce elders and based on oral and written history. The performance was attended by more than 300 people in the tribe's newly finished gymnasium on the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, about 11 miles south of Lewiston. David Alan Earnest, the composer of the eight movements, is a resident of Boise.

This is the second collaboration between Josephy Peavey and Earnest. In 2005 the Caritas Chorale commissioned and performed "Immence (sic) Ranges of High Mountains" commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

According to a press release from Caritas Chorale, director Dick Brown believed there was more to the story, so Josephy Peavey and Earnest collaborated on this second piece, much to the joy of the tribe who revere Josephy Peavey's father, Alvin Josephy, for his research and influence during the Nixon administration to changed the U.S. government's relationship with the tribes.


The performance is only part of what is being called the "Nez Perce Project" as participants wanted to see this as an educational opportunity for the choir, orchestra and interested supporters.

In that vein, the weekend in Lapwai was packed with sharing of foods, including freshly caught salmon and huckleberry pies, as well as presentations on Nez Perce life then and now and a visit to the Nez Perce National Park Interpretive Center.

In mid-July, Caritas will present "Nez Perce: Promises" twice in the Wood River Valley, on Saturday, July 14, at 6 p.m. at the Community School gym in Sun Valley, and on Sunday, July 15, at 6 p.m. at the newly remodeled Wood River High School theater at the Community Campus in Hailey.

Leading up to the performances will be Nez Perce storytelling, dancing and singing, bead work demonstrations and other arts and crafts. For further information, contact Linda Bergerson at 726-4846 or by email at

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